The Adventures of Killer Cain
“On the Gate!”
“Crack one five!”
“On the fucking gate!”
Clang. Clang. Clang. Clang.
All day. Everyday. Endlessly. Relentlessly. Every fifteen minutes guaranteed, with others interspersed between the quarter hours. The clanging of the gates. The barred doors being opened and closed. Crack them for meals. Clang. Crack them for showers. Clang. This guy’s going to medical. Clang. This guy is heading to court. Clang. The bars never stop. They slam and reverberate in their steel frames, a constant auditory reminder to those locked inside of HDM. You ain’t going nowhere. Not unless the C.O.’s let you. You belong to the City of New York. You’re locked in. You’re locked up. Your ass is ours.
They also resonate with many the officers. The constant clanging reminds them of the choices, or lack thereof, that led them to this job. A few are happy to even have a job. Most of the others wonder, “How in the hell did I end up here? Standing behind the same bars as the dregs of society?” The constant ringing is twisted and warped to them, the antithesis to melodious church bells singing their call to twelve o’clock mass.
Stay Under the Overhang
1981. His Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme backfires as it pulls into the employee lot outside of the Control Building. Upon graduating the academy, he (along with practically every other male graduate) was assigned to the Housing Detention for Men, shortened to HDM by both employees and occupants of the building. Finished in 1933, it is the eldest of the jails on New York City’s own Australia, Riker’s Island. Happy that the car managed to make the journey from his native Massapequa, a sinking feeling now grips his stomach. If it weren’t for the June heat he would have broken out in a cold sweat, of that he is sure, but since his beat up Cutlass wouldn’t survive if he used the A/C, he left if off and the windows down for the drive. Stepping out and reaching behind his seat, he grabs a frameless rucksack, one of his relics from active duty, and then unhooks the garment bag containing his new uniforms. Slinging it over his shoulder and clutching the rucksack, he gives the heavy door a prod with his knee to close it. A few cars over a group of four Corrections Officers stand around an open trunk. He tries to head in but one of them calls out before he can even take two steps towards the building.
“Hey rookie, get over here!” Continue reading